High Rise School Blocked

Plans for a high rise school for 1200 pupils on one of the Borough’s busiest junctions at Bromley South have been refused by the National Planning Inspector who upheld the Council’s earlier decision to refuse planning permission.


We applaud the tireless and determined campaign by the local residents’ opposition group. A victory for them, the community and common sense. There is a desperate need for new schools to meet growing demand but this site has to rank as one of the most unsuitable in the borough.



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Lib Dems win fight to ban ‘upskirting’

Back in June last year, a Private Members’ Bill brought by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse, making upskirting a specific criminal offence, was shamefully kicked out of Parliament by a backbench Conservative for no good reason. But we didn’t give up.

We kept campaigning and forced the Government to bring back the Liberal Democrat Bill.

The bill has progressed all the way through Parliament, and this week it became law.  

It gives people who wear skirts the strong legal protection they deserve. For too long this heinous, invasive practice was not considered a criminal offence, meaning that victims were unable to seek justice or protection. We are proud to have changed this.

 

It's a victory for women across the country, and a victory for progressive, forward-looking politics. 


Huge victory for renters’ rights

For too long, landlords have been able to impose huge unfair charges on renters with little government oversight.

Three years ago, the Lib Dems introduced a bill into Parliament to ban letting agents from charging excessive admin fees and protect tenants from rogue landlords.

This bill was left unfinished when the snap election was held in 2017, but we have continued to fight for renters’ rights.

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Brexit Paralysis Persists

Brexit paralysis continues in the House of Commons and seems likely to continue for a further fortnight.  Key votes in the Commons this week on Thursday are unlikely to yield a Valentine's Day defeat for Theresa May.

Both sides of the chamber are reluctantly giving the PM and her negotiating team another two weeks to continue talks in Brussels to resolve the deadlock over the Irish backstop and attempt to find a workable solution which is acceptable to both a majority of MPs in the House of Commons and to the European Union.   Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has definitely not given up hope of MPs voting to take back control of the process if the deadlock cannot be broken soon.  "Wresting control of the parliamentary timetable from government and making time to legislate so that Britain does not leave the EU without an agreement can be done, and it must now be done".  

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Bromley Children's Services Improved

Ofsted have judged Bromley's Children's Services to be "good", a massive improvement from the "inadequate" rating they received previously, but the service for the most vulnerable is still in need of improvement and careful monitoring as the Conservative councillors start cost cutting in this department again. 

In 2016 Ofsted criticised the council for "widespread and serious failings".   Credit is almost entirely due to Ade Adetosoye who was brought in to fix the problems in Children's Services following the Ofsted report - it's a remarkable achievement to make these improvements so quickly.  

Ade AdetosoyeMr Adetosoye has now been promoted to Chief Executive following the retirement of Doug Patterson - at a salary of £179,845 pa.  However, the council are not planning to replace him on a like for like basis in Children's Services, which they boast will result in "considerable cash savings".  

The 2016 Ofsted report identified the Council's failure to replace the previous Director of Children's Services as a major contributory factory to the rapid deterioration in Children's Services.  Having had to spend in excess of an additional £6 million to bring Children's Services to an acceptable level, we remind the Conservatives that short sighted cost cutting often costs more in the long term, and that the most vulnerable in our society should not be put at risk again.  So we applaud Mr Adetosoye's achievements to date, but we will continue to monitor the performance of Children's Services in Bromley.  

 


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